Coalition of trucking groups calls for removal of public CSA scores

| August 26, 2014

DSC_0038-523x800 Ten trucking trade groups have penned a letter to the DOT pleading for the public scores in the Compliance, Safety, Accountability program be removed from public view, pointing to recent government research that says the scores are not a reliable predictor of a carrier’s safety.


CSA’s Fallout: ‘Ugly little secret’ — severity weights, peer groups need work

The draft report issued April 30 from the CSA Subcommittee of FMCSA's MCSAC advisors included a large section on potential methods of improving the scoring ...

The groups also say the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Amdministration needs to make improving the CSA safety program a “high priority.” The letter is signed by representatives from the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association, the American Trucking Associations, the Truckload Carriers Association and others.

They cite a Government Accountability Office report from February that found that FMCSA “lacks sufficient safety performance information to reliably compare them with other carriers.” The GAO report also concluded the system was bias against small carriers. 

That lack of data could produce Safety Measurement System scores (the heart of the CSA program) that “do not represent an accurate or precise safety assessment for a carrier,” the letter says.


CSA’s Fallout: Trapped in a CSA nightmare

Part 1 of this story of how one small fleet operator got stuck in "safety jail" as a Conditional safety rating, a high BASIC score ...

“Having accurate, relevant and up-to-date information is paramount to knowing the true condition of a carrier and making any conclusions about its safety, good or bad. Unfortunately, CSA does not meet that standard,” says Todd Spencer, OOIDA executive vice-president. “CSA was developed as a tool for enforcement agencies, and nothing in our request changes their access to information about carriers.”

Removing the scores from public view will “spare motor carriers harm from erroneous scores,” the groups write, and it will mitigate the chance that the system will drive business to riskier carriers that have “erroneously” been portrayed as safer, according to the letter.

Overdrive Senior Editor Todd Dills has written at length in 2013 and 2014 about the data and consistency problems that plague CSA, which are only made worse by the public nature of the scores. Click here to access Overdrive’s CSA’s Data Trail site to see the articles.

FMCSA countered the February GAO report by releasing its own CSA analysis, concluding the system works in identifying carriers who pose the greatest crash risk, its analysis hinging on safety averages among groups of carriers, an aspect of the program’s justification that the letter to DOT also criticizes. “This FMCSA argument ignores the fact that these analyses are focused on industry-wide averages,” the letter says. “In contrast, GAO’s analysis found scores to be unreliable predictors of individual fleet crash performance. As mentioned above, GAO found that many carriers labeled as “high-risk” by FMCSA due to SMS scores were not later involved in a crash. Of course, the “high-risk” label is not generally assigned to those who have merely been prioritized for intervention, but those with even higher scores and/or with multiple scores above thresholds.”


Will FMCSA ‘un-ring’ the CSA alarm?

Reader Thomas Little may best have paraphrased the thoughts of many: With CSA, "FMCSA fully intended" to "let the industry do their policing for them. ...

A DOT Inspector General audit that followed the GAO report on CSA found that FMCSA needs to be more careful in its collection, management and analysis of data. If not, the data quality problems will limit the agency and its safety program.

FMCSA did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the letter.

Click here to read the letter. 

  • Brian Carlson

    Transparency Transparency Transparency.
    No hiding. Drivers are excoriated everyday of their lives. For their driving records, some black balled for even the most marginal of incidents. By stating they have an unsatisfactory safety rating.
    Hire Right Companies do not avoid extra commentary when shelling a driver out of the workforce. Some companies should be shut down due to the castigating form of business they conduct.
    Often they are the culprit and the driver base just goes down with the ship.
    Shine the light on them. No Matter What.

  • Diamondback Dave

    This is outrageous! Why not show your lousy maintenance and “I can’t control what my drivers do” HOS score publicly? This is how I weed out the worst companies to drive for. They want our 5 year MVR, why can’t we see that they force drivers to drive past their HOS or the fact that the company or owner will not repair their equipment?

  • Shortgut

    What is sad is that a carrier in my area they started a new company and within a yr they was at a 94 % on CSA score . What did they do started 2 more companies with the same junk that they were running before . me I can not get out of parking lot without getting stopped something bad wrong . for sure .

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  • aaronmutulo

    Seriously the issue with the carriers cumulative csa score is way less corrupt than what these carriers do to drivers.a few years ago I was fired from marten transport for having to go to the .er and was given verbal permission to bobtail to my house because I did not have a car at the yard to take to doctor. they put on my dac blatant disregard of a simple company court the judge stated that my actions are to be considered a simple mistake and marten transport still refused to change there report .tp hireright.

  • Mike

    Honestly these propaganda magazines landline this etc.are the problem with this industry! CSA is a good tool! As far as drivers go, I wouldn’t drive for anyone but myself, maybe a union and thats it! All these OTR companies have well over 100% turnover rates with rates that high I’d rather work at McDonald’s!

  • guest

    Always the Well Paid D.O.T cop on his 8hour shift…against the poverty stricken truck driver…..most truck drivers look like homeless bums..but these Government Trucking Cops seem to do quite well…

  • guest

    Oh yea…that has always been the case…..these companies are basically Outlaw Operations…running Junk..and the unsuspecting driver/boy…..wil do as he is or not… Watch WHO you work for today….you will Destroy yer Record with Outlaw companies……and they SURE wont care. lol

  • guest

    Watch who you drive for today…you cant Afford to work for Outlaw companies….Chameleon Carriers..all that bullcrap from the PAST……silly to hang with those LOSERS…soon YOU will have a horrible record.

  • guest

    Yep the “Hire Right” is the old DAC Services..Tulsa.
    Total criminal enterprise…so irresponsible…they would blackball their own Mammy….just because they are the Biggest Anuses on Earth…lol

  • guest

    yep then they quickly REPLACE you with another UNSUSPECTING driver….they are RICH and Sure dont give a DAMN about any truck driver…all a Charade…always has been though and never will change.

  • guest

    I agree totally…I would not recommend trucking to anybody today…it was fun way back when…but today it is purdy PATHETIC…and getting WORSE. lol

  • guest

    Look at “Happy Jack” and his D.O.T parner in this picture…they will High Five and Laugh after they screw some truck driver..who is just trying to earn a living…doing a days work….these guys are Commies…they would rip off their granma…..skunks is what they Paid jerks……….they actually despise truckers and see them as Criminals to be BUSTED!!! lol

  • Mind Games

    It used to be free to look at now they charge twenty bucks to pull up safer records. Not cool I wanna know if the carrier is a bum too!!!

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  • Al Gonzalez

    It’s obvious this Government what’s us small businesses out of business. 1. Buy a newer truck or $20,000.00 muffler that will ruin the Engine. = C.A.R.B. rules 2. A f…. Up points system that shows small businesses dangerous.= CSA SCORES
    3. Raise insurance premiums. = ins. Hike legislation down the pike .
    4. Mexico trucks coming in & the get subsidies for a muffler to be c.a.r.b. complaint.= Nafta trade agreement.
    All big trucking companies are for all of these rules. They paid off politicians to get rid of small
    Trucking companies. ITS OBVIOUS! Will the government change these rules. I doubt it. It will mean no more bribery $$$$$$ to them.

  • fed up

    My problum is that your score and violation can not be challanged in a court of law.

  • Mike

    Truck stops have become the New homeless shelters/ ghettos. Large carriers after 30 years of having turnover rates exceeding 100% are reduced to hiring people with no self respect so pass whatever laws u want , most of these derelicts didn’t listen in school,to their loved ones ,or anyone ,what makes anyone in the government think they’re going to listen to them? If u don’t have self respect you’ll never respect anyone else. Good luck with the safety thing!

  • guest

    Yep the Flying J homeless shelter….ahahahaha total Slobs no doubt….so depressing…Urine everywhere….embarassing to be a trucker today…people immediately dismiss you as a LOSER if you tell them you drive truck…lol
    Ghettos for sure…it is hard to tell when ya see a driver walking near yer truck if he is Employed..or a Homeless Slob!!!!???? all a Joke today…..rediculous.

  • guest

    Usually they are! Save the $20.00…

  • guest

    Yep these mega fleets have 10,000 drivers who ALL quit within 1 year??? Hence 100% annual turnover…because they dont PAY ENUFF and they treat their people like the SCUM OF THE EARTH…always been like that….lol

  • USMC 69/75

    Let’s see, if 10,000 driver’s for ONE company got together, and parked their trucks on the terminal and went home, (no union required) for 2 to 3 days, without communicating with dispatch, except I have a family emergency (click) how much revenue would they lose, and couldn’t do squat about it.
    Fire all 10,000, don’t think so, nobody quit, so the trucks are just sitting. That would be a big hit for them too, as far as the unemployment insurance, not to mention the media black eye showing all these trucks sitting….. All it takes is a little back bone, initiative, and organizational skills! We have internet, facebook, skype, email, texting, etc.etc….wouldn’t take long at all. But ya’ll know as well as I, that there would be a few snitches that would inform the higher ups and WHAM…. cowards one and all!

  • USMC 69/75

    They can now! As of this month, you get a ticket, and CHALLENGE it and win, it HAS to come off your record! But it’s up to YOU to make sure they do the job. It’s easier to go on than make them take it off, but it can be done now!

  • Deez Nuts

    Plenty of drivers with black marks on their dac reports will disagree with you. Companies will put negative things because they’re mad at you for having the audacity to quit their bs job. Try walking away from an orientation and they’ll say you quit and didn’t give them 2 weeks notice. Try getting that crap removed. Hireright/hire reich is as big of a sham as the csa reports.

  • Gabby

    I Drive for a small company out of California. Been with them for 7yrs. paid by the mile.

    They have no Ez pass no Pre pass. I run Loose Leaf ( till the Gov. tells us other wise but no worries. I have a 90 mph Truck ( that I respect meaning DOT/ and my employer keeping fuel expense to a equal share and mpg to as high as conditions let me. No gauging no pushing, respect to the truck and employer. I get between 6.5 to 7.5 2011 Freight shaker.

    Let me tell you my company don’t have the greatest equipment in the business but its legal. I picked this company because its small and the pay I get is VERY GOOD I’m paid a lot more then most drivers and I know this for a fact iv been out here a while.

    Iv had my own truck iv had my ups and down I made bad decision I’m human. but I fond working for big company’s that have ez pass pre pass QUALCOMM just cant compare not possible.

    Now I made money with these so called big company’s but nothing like I do with small ones.

    Big company’s with all that EZ /PRE its nice to get a green lite and fly by that Chicken Coop and not be Mr.. Bears target ?

    I Guaranty you if the DOT took the time to look at some of these so called well taken care of trucking company’s ? well lets just say nobody’s perfect.

    I see pre pass as a GOV. Bribe to whoever puts there hands on the collection of funds from company’s who make there monthly payment to pre pass everybody knows it.

    Drivers If you ever find the NERVE to stop and ask a DOT officer if he can operate or show you how to remove information from your EOBRD Chances are he has no idea. Don’t get me wrong there a good tool for Lazy driver and Illiterate driver.

    How many drivers have had this piece of equipment go down and have to switch over to Log Books and the DOT has no idea your OBRD has went down ? Oh ya big company’s legal all the time.

    Now back to my small company’s.
    They have asked me to go beyond what a truckers are supposed to do and I have told them straight up and truthfully that I Would or I wouldn’t do. when you stand firm in your decision and show respect they recognize that. but to many driver just don’t have the nerve or the confidence to say what they fill.. low self stem scared. Hell they think they wont get another job.
    You need speak your mind … Think about it this way
    “I was looking for a job when I came here” Or try this be smart find another job before you finely grow balls and tell them your not breaking the law for anybody.

    Look It all comes down to the Driver and weather he makes the right choice your dispatcher or who ever gives you your load assignments they can say whatever they want but its your action’s (the driver) that is ultimately responsible. You are the one who comes face to face with the DOT not your office people. Drivers stop blaming BIG or SMALL Trucking Company’s you have to be accountable for your action Remember after accepting a load or leave the yard your the Trucking Company….. Own It

  • Gabby


  • Gabby

    Sounds like a trucker story you have no idea what your talking about 3.35 an hour your talking apples and oranges the private sector couldn’t compare to the trucking industry back then. your giving bad advice you should be telling these youngster to be as picky as trucking company’s are when they chose one.
    Don’t sell yourself short don’t underestimate what you can do be positive go out look read learn watch what’s going on…
    mean while get experience learn ways to get what you want take responsibility for your own action don’t be a Pu#@y … like MIKE is asking you to be grow some B$#$@s.
    I don’t know how you can say your blessed MIKE to have a wife who is a CPA and talk so negative you say your a Hi roller Bull…..

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  • bill carson

    Driver you sound like one of those transients on wheels

  • bill carson

    That is true mike it seem that the trucking industry has became a dumping ground for societies garbage strives to maintain an open forum for reader opinions. Click here to read our comment policy.